CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian police arrested Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad on Tuesday, three security officials said, the latest high-profile detention in the army-backed authorities’ crackdown on the Islamist movement.
Haddad was detained with two other Brotherhood officials in an apartment in Cairo. He served as chief of staff to deputy Brotherhood leader Khairat El-Shater and is the son of Essam El-Haddad, an aide to deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.
Haddad, the Brotherhood’s main point of contact with international media before the crackdown, is charged with inciting the killing of protesters.
Many of the Brotherhood’s top leaders have been detained on similar charges since the army deposed Mursi on July 3, triggering the worst spasm of violence in Egypt’s modern history.
At least a thousand people have been killed since then, comprising mostly supporters of the deposed leader but also scores of members of the security forces.
Mursi, who is being held at an undisclosed location, has himself been charged with inciting killing and violence. Besides Mursi, the Brotherhood’s three top leaders are also in jail, together with the head of its political party. It is the toughest crackdown on the Islamist group in decades.
Earlier on Tuesday, a court upheld an order from the prosecutor’s office freezing the assets of 25 leading members of the Brotherhood and allied Islamist parties.
Haddad was arrested together with Hossam Abu Bakr, a provincial governor under Mursi, and Mahmoud Abu Zeid, a member of the group’s executive board.
Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Kevin Liffey